Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Tex in Vegas
It's been a while since I pasted some lit on these pages. You must excuse me. I have been engaging with Gil Meche Experience college connections in the city of sin, spending my time amongst mooks, Asians, whores and generally odd-looking, rowdy ass characters in rivers of hyperstrong lights and sounds. Note to reader: A Manhattan paradise in a three foot glass does not bode well for your gambling experience.
I can, and will, break down the intricate psychology of the mob-built discoteque known as Las Vegas at some other time, but I would like to let the world know one important thing.
I have attended my first title fight.
Labeled "Fearless" was the card this weekend for the INDISPUTED, UNDEEEFEATED, SUUUUPER FEATHERWEIGHT CHAMPION OF THE WOOOOOOOOOOOOORRRRLLLLDDDD between Juan Manuel Marquez and Marco Antonio Barrera at Mandalay Bay. The card also featured Demetrius "Nephew of Bernard" Hopkins vs. The Contender Finalist Stevie Forbes and Daniel Ponce de Leon vs. Phillipino cultural boxing hero Gerry Penalosa.
I arrived in the bleeder seats in time for the last two fights, missing D-Hop and Forbes in action, which is apparently a damn shame. I hope someone Youtubes it soon, though the decision victory for Hopkins was, from the sound of everyone who saw the fight, more bent than a USC cheer leader at homecoming. If Forbes threw a boxing clinic as reported and there was robbery then that was controversy number one. The first co-main event fight provided good action throughout. Ponce De Leon threw plenty of good body shots but kept his left hand low for most of the fight, allowing the southpaw Penalosa to repeatedly whack him with lead right hooks.
Penalosa slowed late in the fight and it was a close competitive contest... that was a scored a near shutout for Ponce De Leon. The Compubox stats support some of the claim, as his punch output was the third highest in modern history. While impressive, you can rest assured that Penalosa won more than his fair share of rounds rather than the minimum 11-1 difference granted by the judges.
The main event was a barn burner, sure to be replayed soon on HBO by the powers that be and grey haired tape experts everywhere. This fight was one of the best of the year so far and burned a full 12 rounds of output. Styles make fights, and Barerra's foot work and short snapping punches were countered by long straight jab-cross combos on Marquez's end of the fight. It is too bad that such a good fight is so clouded with controversy in two different sections.
Trouble first reared it's ugly head at the end of the seventh round when Barerra, getting pounded in the middle of the ring for roughly ten full seconds, sent Marquez to the mat with a compact hook. The ref did not begin to count, so Barerra whacked him again with a right hand. Not only did the ref rule the knockdown a slip, he deducted a point from Barerra for hitting while Marquez was down. It was a three point swing in a fight that was as close a brawl as they come. The replays repeatedly showed that Marquez went down because of a punch. There's no telling whether he would have gotten to his feet after the blow had the ref gotten the decision correct.
The fight raged onward throughtout all twelve rounds. I positioned myself by the door to leave the arena and beat the crowd as they announced the scores.
"Judge A and B score the bout 118-109..."
I think to myself You've got to be shitting me.
"Judge C scores the bout 116-111 to the winner by unanimous decision..."
Were these people watching the same fight?
They call out Marquez' name and I walk out of the casino to catch a cab to Treasure Island as it sinks in. I think Barerra won the fight. I'm not the gospel on that. It was a close one. One thing I do kno is that that fight was not 8-4 or 10-2. It was close as can be, and Barerra should have had himself a two point round rather than a minus two.
Things to consider:
Would the fight have been different if instant replay was alloweed or open scoring was enforced? Will there be a rematch? What happened to the shot odds on the fight? It was a 6.5 to 1 fight for Barerra the week before and was even money by the time of the fight. Everyone knows boxing is corrupt... but this is going to be one of the five biggest fights of the year. Do they have to stoop that low.
And so the mafia still runs Las Vegas and Bugsy's on the look for a stake in Mexico through the sport of boxing. Las Vegas remains the most overstimulating town on Earth, to the point that it can blind a boxing judge with experience in scoring over 100 championship fights.
Dare I say rigged?